Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, October 23rd, 2017

The world in all does but two nations bear – The good the bad, and these mixed everywhere.

Andrew Marvell

S North
N-S ♠ 7 6 5 3
 K 9 8 3
♣ K Q 10 4
West East
♠ A 10
 K J 10 7 2
 7 6 4
♣ 6 3 2
♠ 9 8 4
 Q 9 8 4
 Q J 5
♣ A J 7
♠ K Q J 2
 A 6 3
 A 10 2
♣ 9 8 5
South West North East
1 ♣ 2 Dbl. Pass
2 ♠ Pass 3 ♠ Pass
4 ♠ All pass    


In 2002, the Finals of the international match at Salt Lake City between Poland and Canada saw the latter win narrowly, despite scoring fewer than 1 1/2 IMPs per board. That was a testament to a relatively flat set of boards where both teams played very well.

This deal helped the winners’ cause. In one room they had been doubled and set 100 in three hearts, but here they declared four spades with remarkably few values, after North (Joe Silver) had donned a rosy pair of glasses.

Fred Gitelman as declarer received the lead of an unreadable diamond six, and took some while to plan the play. Eventually he won in hand and ruffed a heart, then led a spade to the king. West took this and returned the spade 10 – though a club shift might have worked better.

Gitelman won in hand and ruffed another heart, then led a low diamond from dummy, assuming that East would hold the diamond queen, and hoping that either diamonds would be 3-3, or that West would not have both a doubleton diamond and the last trump.

In fact East won the diamond queen and could do no better than play a fourth heart. Gitelman ruffed, drew the last trump, (pitching clubs from dummy) and led a club up to dummy, conceding just the club ace for 10 tricks.

For the record, had East taken the second diamond and returned the suit, declarer could have won it in hand to draw the last trump before playing a club to dummy.

This is a very unusual auction, but your own hand suggests partner can’t be doubling on the basis of four tricks in his own hand or on a trump stack. Presumably partner has made a Lightner double, looking for ruffs in diamonds. Lead the diamond seven to suggest an entry in a higher-ranking suit, in case partner does not know what to lead at trick two.


♠ 9 6
 K 6 4
 9 7 5 3 2
♣ J 5 4
South West North East
      1 ♠
Pass 1 NT Pass 2
Pass 4 ♠ Dbl. All pass

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact